Sixth Graders in State Capitol Take to Anti-Smoking Software

June 13, 1996: Devonna Williams, Sean Goldstein, Maria Celario and 26 other sixth graders in Albany, New York had a rare treat on a rainy Thursday afternoon: they got to play a video game during class time. And, like spinach, it was good for them.

As part of a program sponsored by State Assemblyman Alexander "Pete" Grannis of New York City, the kids took turns playing "Smoke Zapper," part of developer Elliot Essman's multi-part "No Smoke" program for Windows. They racked up points shooting down flying cigarettes as they avoided smart bombs. At the same time, health and personal empowerment suggestions flashed quickly onto the computer screen at five second intervals.

"I wish I could get my mom to play this game," said Maria Celario, "so she could see how stupid smoking is." Maria also enjoyed the "Villains" section of No Smoke, in which the user gets to destroy the "Dy-Quik" cigarette factory piece by piece. Another animated section, "Excuses," disintegrates stale excuses for smoking using jet planes, pterodactyls, a helicopter, and even a wizard waving a wand.

"The program has something for everyone," remarks developer Essman. "An adult smoker can use the non-animated analysis sections to build a real case against smoking (the first step toward the proper motivation for quitting), but "No Smoke" is especially useful in sensitizing kids. They can even program in their own health affirmations and see them flash on the screen at whatever interval they choose."

Software developer Elliot Essman is available to demonstrate "No Smoke" in schools and in corporate and health care settings. Full contact information is on our contact page.

No Smoke Press Release Page - Smokefree Home Page - Smokefree Software Page

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